June 5 - 1963 - John Profumo Resigns as Secretary of State for War

In the early 1960s, John Profumo appeared to be a rising star in the Conservative Government of British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. A war veteran and long-term Member of Parliament, Profumo had risen to the position of Secretary of State for War in his 40s, and he was then responsible for the professionalization of the Army. Then in 1963 it came out that he had had an affair with a 19 year old model named Christine Keeler in 1961. This was more than just a sexual affair, as Keeler was associated with the osteopath to the elite Stephen Ward, who turned out to have a circle of prominent people that he helped get drugs and young women for. One of these people also turned out to be a Soviet attache, Evgeny Ivanov, who was conducting an affair with Keeler at the same time as Profumo. After a number of weird criminal charges for boyfriends of Keeler, rumors swirled around Profumo. By the summer of 1963, Profumo was unable to fight off the rumors and resigned his position and place in Parliament. Ward would be brought on charges of running prostitutes and kill himself with sleeping pills. Harold MacMillan would resign his position as PM in ill health in October 1963, and the Conservative Party would then lose the General Election of 1964 in the fallout of the Profumo affair.

William Floyd